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Should the Phillies Claim Castellanos?

Castellanos will draw significant interest from teams while he is on the waiver wire.

Alex Castellanos at 6’0″, 200 lbs, has a career minor league triple-slash line of .288/.362/.502 including a line of .291/.382/.525 line in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League. Castellanos, 27, has had a few cups of coffee, amounting to 43 PA with the Dodgers between 2012 and 2013, hitting just .171/.186/.390. Castellanos is now in “DFA-limbo”, designated for assignment by the NL West champion Dodgers to make room for Mets outfielder Mike Baxter, eligible to be claimed by another Major League team. Should the Phillies be among the teams to claim the outfielder?

In short, yes. Here are a few reasons why.

The Tools: Power and Speed

Castellanos showed doubles power early in his minor league career, hitting 16, 22, and 35 doubles in his first three seasons of minor league ball. Castellanos was able to transition those doubles into homers, hitting 35 doubles again in 2011 but also hitting a career high 23 homers. Castellanos has hit 23, 17, and 19 homers in each of the last three seasons, 23 in Double-A, and 17 and 19 in Triple-A.

In addition to his power, Castellanos has been effective on the basepaths as well, stealing 20, 21, 19, 14, 16, and 19 bases in each of his six seasons in the minors, with a 76.76% success rate.  

Defensive Versatility

Castellanos was drafted as a second baseman but has become a pretty versatile outfielder. Castellanos filled in each of the last two seasons with the Dodgers in all three outfield positions. Because of his power, speed, and defense. Castellanos has routinely appeared in the Dodgers Top 20 prospects lists after being acquired in 2011 by the Dodgers in exchange for Rafael Furcal. Castellanos was a 16th in 2012 and 14th in 2013 on John Sickels’ Minor League ball Dodgers Top 20 prospects list.

Age, Cost, and Contrability

Castellanos is 27-years old, a little bit older than most prospects. Castellanos was drafted in the tenth round of the 2008 draft by the Cardinals as a third-year college player out of Belmont Abbey College. Castellanos will not be arbitration eligible until after the 2015 season, giving which ever team claims him five years of control.

The Drawbacks

Of course, there is a reason Castellanos was designated for assignment. At his core, Castellanos struck out at a 25.51% rate in his age 26 season, against a 23.23% career strikeout rate against just a 7.76% career walk rate. Additionally, Castellanos’ Triple-A OPS dropped 195 points from 2012 to 2013.

For the team that claims Castellanos, there is risk: Castellanos may have hit his ceiling and may just be a Darin Ruf-like player but with more speed and better defense. Considering the Phillies gave Ruf 293 PA in 2013, Castellanos may be a talented addition that could add depth in a currently empty outfield.

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